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Is it reasonable to have a laser as part of your EDC?

akrapacs

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I'm still new to lasers but I've been doing a lot of research the last couple weeks. I first thought that I wanted to buy a big bad high power laser that I could play with but then I realized that something like that requires safety precautions and equipment -- not something I can just carry around with me to play with or show others. So that brings me to my question. Does anybody carry a laser with them as part of their everyday carry? What type and power is safe to just have with me and use without requiring safety glasses for everybody nearby.
 



10fenny

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Depends on where. I just brought my 200mw 520 to my buddies bbq. Shined it at a safe distance a few times. Nothing crazy. So it depends on my mood i guess. Im getting quite a few lasers built these days
 

Pi R Squared

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Yes it depends very much on where. Any reason you don't want your locations known? In the US the short answer is 5mW, anything more should usually be left at home. As for viewing without glasses there is no one answer to that, it varies too much by color and viewing conditions. This requires a lengthy explanation to give a proper answer. The beam is safe to view without glasses but there must be no chance of an accident. The dot may not be safe, and reflections are to be avoided.

Alan
 

LookinForLasers

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Yes it depends very much on where. Any reason you don't want your locations known? In the US the short answer is 5mW, anything more should usually be left at home. As for viewing without glasses there is no one answer to that, it varies too much by color and viewing conditions. This requires a lengthy explanation to give a proper answer. The beam is safe to view without glasses but there must be no chance of an accident. The dot may not be safe, and reflections are to be avoided.

Alan

Would you say it's normal to carry around a class IV laser in your pocket on a daily basis to show off the beam (in a safe environment) to those friends and family you run into each day. (Safety goggles wouldn't be on you but in the car or something). I'm just wondering if people actually do this or if it's just frowned upon because I'm in the process of getting my first higher powered lasers and this is the sort of thing I had in mind.
 

Laser Chick

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Believe it or not, these two "simple" questions are very complex as there are literally endless factors to consider. Straight forwards to the two questions from akrapacs (yes I see they are from awhile ago).....
1.) Does anybody carry a laser with them as part of their everyday carry? = Yes, such as tour guides, docent, arborist, bosses at construction sites or open strip mining to point out to workers what to do.
2.) What type and power is safe to just have with me and use without requiring safety glasses for everybody nearby. = 5mW
Most of this falls under a "simple" 5mW laser pointer.
A stronger hand held laser will be used for greater distances or daylight situations but the user needs to be very careful as stated by other member above for issues such as the distance to the dot, reflections, type of surfaces the laser will be pointed at and so on and so on.
Not to start a flame war but compare it to a loaded .22 pistol. You, the user might be highly trained in the safe usage of the laser but what if you set it down for a moment or a friend asks to use it. Are they trained and know how to use it safely? Do they have safety goggles on?
A laser <5mW in most cases is okay for "everyday usage" as long as you don't do dumb things with it but a laser >5mW, not so much.

Hi LookinForLasers, welcome to the forum.
Most class IV lasers will not fit very well in your pocket unless it has a duty cycle because of the need for mass to dissipate heat.
It will be way to tempting to use the laser without safety goggles on if you do not have them present along with the laser.
 
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Pi R Squared

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Would you say it's normal to carry around a class IV laser in your pocket on a daily basis to show off the beam (in a safe environment) to those friends and family you run into each day. (Safety goggles wouldn't be on you but in the car or something). I'm just wondering if people actually do this or if it's just frowned upon because I'm in the process of getting my first higher powered lasers and this is the sort of thing I had in mind.

Here in the US I would not normally carry around a class IV laser in my pocket or in the car. I might take one to show a friend or family member, but they can come and visit me and I can show them. They are legal to own but are easy to use illegally, and in most of the US you can't count on police knowing the law or even caring about it. So don't attract attention to yourself outside. These lasers aren't pointers either, they are surveying, leveling, and alignment lasers and aren't completely legal to use outside depending on how they are being used. There are FDA and FAA and OSHA regulations, and one state, Illinois if I remember right that requires any class IV to be registered before you have it. We are of course talking about hand held battery powered lasers not lab lasers.

Alan
 

LookinForLasers

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Hi LookinForLasers, welcome to the forum.
Most class IV lasers will not fit very well in your pocket unless it has a duty cycle because of the need for mass to dissipate heat.
It will be way to tempting to use the laser without safety goggles on if you do not have them present along with the laser.
Thanks for the help. I personally have been very drawn in by the compact hosts I see that use a lot of copper for sinking to make up for the lower surface area. And the 1x18650 hosts I seem to be seeing look to be pocket sized like any other tactical flashlight. But are you suggesting that these generally more expensive compact copper hosts aren't nessesary or practical because they won't leave the house.
 

hwang21

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I personally have found very little reason to carry a Class IV laser unless you're trying to look "cool" to all the high schoolers. They're extremely dangerous, and they're too bright to be practical for most applications tbh. They're just good at burning, and that gets old after a while

But I do carry an Opto 175 with me, I should've gotten a keychain style laser instead of a pen style, but I have the Opto with me all the time. They're solidly built and super thin beam diameter, so even though it's only like 200mW of green it's an impressive unit
 
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Laser Chick

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Copper heat sinks/hosts are fine. The main issue is having a class IV laser on you at all times. It just is not a good idea. Sort of like having a chainsaw with you at all times. A certain person will get uncomfortable and probably call the authorities on you and you just do not need the hassle. If you want to show it to friends/family. Have them come to your house or use it in a predetermined controlled environment and please always, ***safety first!!!*** Just a sliver of a reflection can cause massive damage to a friends eyes if they do not have on laser goggles also.
 

hwang21

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Agreed^ it's just unnecessary and brings (probably) unwanted attention, considering 99.999% of all of our lasers are illegal by FDA standards
 
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